Needs-based adaptation to climate change in Africa


Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)

Deadline: Tuesday 18th of April, 2023

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Accelerated deployment of climate services to build climate resilience.
  • Better informed climate adaptation policy response, stronger adaptive capacity and climate resilience in Africa, with a focus on the Sub-Saharan region.
  • Improved synergies between adaptation action and other policy objectives, notably the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.
  • Contribution to the international dimension of the EU Adaptation Strategy and to the Africa-EU Partnership.
  • Knowledge base to underpin major international scientific assessments such as the IPCC Assessment Reports.
The African continent is on the frontline of the climate emergency; it is highly vulnerable and adaptation to both present and future impacts of climate change is urgent and crucial to secure its long-term resilience and prosperity but it is challenging in the current economic context. While the demand for high-quality, actionable climate information and services is growing, there is a need for more holistic, better connected, more interactive and more user-oriented approaches across the entire adaptation value chain from knowledge production to users. This ranges from improved knowledge base, through increased accessibility, up to enhanced uptake of information and climate services by end-users spanning policy makers, governmental agencies, local authorities, civil society and the private sector. The focus of this topic is on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – given the region’s limited response capacities coupled with high vulnerability to climate change impacts that range from droughts, through rising sea levels, cyclones, and floods to rising temperatures and rainfall anomalies with serious implications, notably, for food and water security.
Actions should:
  • Improve the understanding of current and future climate related threats (and opportunities) in Africa in the context of socio-demographic developments, extending into sectors/domains that are underexplored from climate-risk perspective and including dynamics between climate, biodiversity, and political/economic risks such as migration, food security and urbanisation patterns. Actions may address improvements in accuracy and skill of forecasts/projections, in particular as regards the sub-seasonal-to-seasonal time scale.
  • Identify key adaptation challenges, needs and gaps in the broader socio-economic context, including intersection with other policy objectives such as biodiversity protection, increase in agricultural productivity and reduction of inequalities.
  • Enhance planning, implementation and evaluation of climate adaptation strategies and measures (including ecosystem-based adaptation and nature-based solutions, as well as integrated adaptation and mitigation actions) and the understanding of their socio-economic determinants and benefits.
  • Improve and upscale existing and/or develop and test new climate services/tools that bridge the gap between information availability and uptake by end-users in different sectors, including through capacity building and addressing issues such as access, uncertainty, trust, risk perception and management, and other barriers. In either case, actions should demonstrate a clear path towards broader deployment of the services developed.
  • Promote better understanding and enhanced cooperation between various actors such as regional climate centres, national meteorological services, intermediaries, and end-users. Direct participation of relevant entities in the projects is strongly encouraged.
  • Explore and leverage opportunities associated with the digital revolution (including progress in automation, artificial intelligence, and communications) to improve diffusion of climate knowledge and promote more efficient service delivery.
  • Advance knowledge on value assessment of climate services and apply it to the services developed within projects.
Projects may focus on a specific country/region in Sub-Saharan Africa for more customised activities but should evaluate and disseminate information on the broader relevance of their outcomes and options for replication also in other locations.
Actions should pursue active engagement and consultation with relevant stakeholders such as African government agencies, civil society organisations and citizen groups to harness local knowledge and to better account for end-user needs, taking into account the gender dimension. This should include research on co-production of climate information and user engagement models themselves to define which approaches are most suitable for adaptation purposes. Moreover, social innovation should be considered in order to achieve the expected outcomes.
Actions should build on previous work and established structures in the region. Participants should make use of the latest socio-economic, geophysical, and other relevant data, leveraging by rapid progress in digital technologies. This should include observational data from the Copernicus part of the EU Space Programme and other relevant sources (such as in the context of GEOSS Global Earth Observation System of Systems).
Actions should also take into consideration the results of relevant Horizon 2020 projects, such as FOCUS-Africa, Down2Earth, CONFER or HABITABLE, in view of progressing the state of the art and taking the already developed services/tools to the next level.
In line with the Strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2021) 252), international cooperation is encouraged and projects should aim at comprehensive involvement of African researchers and organisations, in view of maximising the impact and relevance of the projects.
This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research. Applicants should ensure that their project and activities do not exacerbate tensions in the region and may consider guidelines to integrate conflict sensitivity in climate action projects.
Read more about this funding opportunity here.